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Relief from Tight Calves and Shins

Relief from Tight Calves and Shins


The Anatomy of  Calves

The calves are made up of two muscles. The gastrocnemius and the soleus muscles. The gastrocnemius are the two muscles  we generally see on the calf when we are looking at a persons lower leg. You cannot see the soleus as it lies underneath the gastrocnemius muscles.  The soleus muscle runs up between the two gastrocnemius muscles.


Calves Shape It Up Nicole Simonin

4 Dynamic Warm Up Exercises For Relief from Tight Calves and Shins

Before you do any kind of stretches, always make sure  you warm up.

Here are some dynamic exercises to warm up your calves and shins: 

Calf Raises Shape It Up Nicole Simonin

Watch video above for more details on how to do this exercise.


Calf Raises

  1. Start with feet together.

  2. Lift your heels up off the ground.

  3. Lower back to starting position.

  4. Repeat about 15-20 times.

  5. (Hold onto a sturdy chair if you have balance issues.)

Toe Raise Shape It Up Nicole Simonin

Watch video above for more details on how to do this exercise.


Toe Raises

  1. Start with feet together.

  2. Lift up toes on one foot keeping your heel on the floor.

  3. Lower foot to floor.

  4. Repeat about 15-20 times.

  5. Then do the same for other foot.

Light bounces warm up calves Shape It Up Nicole Simonin

Watch video above for more details on how to do this exercise.


Light Bounces In Place

  1. Start with feet together.

  2. Bend knees slightly.

  3. Push off of the floor and complete a tiny jump.

  4. Repeat about 15-20 times.

  5. Again we are not doing crazy jumps, you are just jumping and clearing the floor just a little bit.

Toe Taps Shape It Up Nicole Simonin

Watch video above for more details on how to do this exercise.


Toe Taps

  1. Start standing.

  2. Extend your leg out in front of you.

  3. Bring your toes up towards your shin (flex your ankle).

  4. Lower toes back to floor.

  5. Repeat about 15-20 times then do other foot.

  6. This one is really working shin muscle.

  7. Make sure  your hands are on your bent leg and not on the straight leg because people tend to push on the knee. This causes additional pressure on the knee. Keep hands on your bent knee or on your hips.

4 Unique Stretches For Relief from Tight Calves and Shins

In general, whenever you are stretching, you want to hold a minimum of 30 seconds. You can hold up to a minute or even longer.

Calf Stretch off step Shape It Up Nicole Simonin

Watch video above for more details on how to do this exercise.


Single Leg Calf Stretch Off A Step 

This is probably one of my favorite stretches for your calves.

  1. Start standing with just your toes on a box or stair step. 

  2. Drop one heel down.

  3. Hold stretch for 30-60 seconds.

  4. Repeat on other leg.

  5. Do one leg at a time. You can do two but I feel like you get a better stretch if you’re doing one leg at a time and then switch.

Relief from tight calves shins Shape It Up Nicole Simonin

Watch video above for more details on how to do this exercise.


Long Sitting Ankle Stretch

This next stretch brings back fond memories of being a ballet dancer. We used to do this stretch a lot.

  1. Sit on floor with legs extended in front of you.

  2. Extend (or point) your feet towards the floor.

  3. Gently push down on the metatarsal/ankle of your foot.

  4. You will feel it up the leg and you might feel it in your ankle too, depending on your flexibility.

  5. Keep working at it and you will feel the stretch through the front of your leg.

Shin Stretch Shape It Up Nicole Simonin

Watch video above for more details on how to do this exercise.


Kneeling Shin Stretch

The next stretch will  stretch out the front of your shins. It can be a little bit intense so use your discretion on how you approach this stretch. I like to have a mat folded up under my feet to add a little extra cushion.

  1. Kneeling, place your feet on the mat and sit down on your heels.

  2. While leaving ankles on the floor, raise up your knee.

  3. Hold for 30-60  seconds. Switch legs to do the other side.

  4. You should feel the stretch in the front of the ankle and shins.

  5. If you are having knee issues with this stretch, you can either put a towel or another mat underneath of your tush to raise you up and take some pressure off the knees. If it’s really bothering you, just skip it entirely and go back to the long sitting ankle stretch (above)

Dead Butt Syndrome Shape It Up

If you liked this post check out on Dead Butt Syndrome…yes! It is a real thing! Click to learn more.


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